The word “Septuagesima” is Latin for “Seventieth.”
It is both the name of the Liturgical Season and the name of the Sunday.
Septuagesima Sunday marks the beginning of the shortest Liturgical Season.
This Season is seventeen (17) days long and includes the three Sundays before Ash Wednesday.
The length of the Season never changes but the start date is dependent on the movable date of Easter, which can fall between 22 March-25 April.
Septuagesima Sunday can be as early as 18 January.
Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875) Abbot of Solesmes from 1837-1875, devoted a whole volume of his great work – The Liturgical Year, to Septuagesima. In his Preface, Dom Guéranger referred to Septuagesima as a Season of “transition, inasmuch as it includes the period between two important Seasons – Christmas and Lent. … The Church, therefore, has instituted a preparation for the holy time of Lent. She gives us the three weeks of Septuagesima, during which she withdraws us, as much as may be, from the noisy distractions of the world, in order that our hearts may be the more readily impressed by the solemn warning she is to give us, at the commencement of Lent, by marking our foreheads with ashes.”
The Septuagesima Season helps the faithful ease into Lent. It is a gradual preparation for the serious time of penance and sorrow; to remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors and to exhort him to penance.
Liturgically it looks very much like Lent. The Gloria and Alleluia are omitted, the tone becomes penitential with the Priest wearing Purple Vestments.
The main difference is that there are no fasting requirements.
Dedication of the first Church of Our Lady, by St Peter – Tortosa, Italy – 5 February:
St Agatha (c 231- c 251) Virgin Martyr
Her Life and Death:
St Philip of Jesus (1572-1597) Martyr
His Life and Death:
St Adelaide of Guelders (c 970–1015) Abbess, Apostle of Charity, Miracle-worker, Reformer, Counsellor to the Archbishop of Cologne.
St Agatha Hildegard of Carinthia
St Agricola of Tongres
St Albinus of Brixen (Died 1005) Bishop of Brixen, Advisor to both Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Roman Martyrology: states: “In Bressanone (Brixen) in South Tyrol, commemoration of St Albuino, Bishop, who transferred the Episcopal Chair from Sabion to this seat.”
St Anthony of Athens
St Avitus of Vienne (c 450-c 518) Bishop of Vienne, Poet, Confessor and Defender of the Mysteries of the Faith against heretics, writer.
St Bertulph c640-c705) Abbot
St Buo of Ireland
St Calamanda of Calaf
St Dominica of Shapwick
St Fingen of Metz
Bl Françoise Mézière
St Gabriel de Duisco
St Genuinus of Sabion
St Isidore of Alexandria
St Jesús Méndez-Montoya
Bl John Morosini
St Kichi Franciscus
St Modestus of Carinthia
Bl Primo Andrés Lanas
St Saba the Younger
St Vodoaldus of Soissons
Martyrs of Pontus: An unknown number of Christians who were tortured and martyred in assorted painful ways in the region of Pontus (in modern Turkey) during the persecutions of Maximian.
The Twenty-Six Martyrs of Japan: 26 Saints – the First Martyrs of Japan. Martyred on 5 February 1597 by Crucifixion, also known as Pedro Bautista Blasquez y Blasquez and 22 companions, along with Paulus Miki and 2 companions, were Beatified on 14 September 1627 by Pope Urban VIII, and Canonised on 8 June 1862 by Pope Pius IX.
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